Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Magazin's Next Episode

Extra episodes may be forthcoming in the Magazin soap opera, judging by an interview with Tonči Huljić, the Croatian pop composer and Magazin's manager, in Sunday's 24 sata. (The Gazette uses the 'soap opera' metaphor advisedly; among Huljić's 2005 projects was the footballing soap Ljubav u zaleÄ‘u.) More concretely, Jelena Rozga's solo album need not mean that she would leave the band, according to Huljić's logic that 'even Freddie Mercury had his own album, and he still sang with Queen.'

Nonetheless, at least a dozen girls have reportedly come forward to replace Jelena, and Novi list suggests that the public will have some involvement in the selection, possibly through a radio or television contest. (So it's come to this: Huljić Idol.) The selection is expected to take at least a month, conveniently seeing Jelena through Dora and letting her assess what her solo chances are.

Huljić also gives tentative suggestions that Huljić might contribute to Severina's next album, or rather, 'we'll probably do something together, but that doesn't mean it will be music.' (For the sake of his wife's nerves, somebody might like to rephrase that.)

Asked to comment on the 'flood' of folk-pop songs or narodnjaci into Croatia (for which critics often hold him responsible), Huljić replies:

'I'd say that the whole of showbusiness has been going in cycles for generations and that the cycle of narodnjaci has come round again. In 2000 there were social changes which influenced a change of musical route as well. We need to be aware that our entire showbusiness industry is based on pop [zabavna] music. When that disappeared from the radio and television airspace because certain people wanted to forcefully create, shall we say, civil society, they induced people to listen to narodnjaci and now they're paying the price for that. The way I stood with pop production, an invasion of narodnjaci happened because you don't allow people any alternative in pop music. I'm convinced that in five years at the latest, the state of pop music in Croatia will return to the level of the late 1990s.'

Good news for some, less so for others, perhaps.

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